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Brands and Distilleries : Gordon & MacPhail

Issue 123 Out Now

Whisky Magazine Issue 123

The World of Aberfeldy, Great Southern Distillery, Knockdhu Distillery, Icons of Whisky America

 

Gordon & MacPhail

Gordon & MacPhail Aberfeldy 1978
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Delicate but not bland. Real subtlety. Very mature, but not a hint of wood. A Highlander, but blindfold I would have placed it as a Speysider.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1985
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 I have always thought of Ardmore as having a rather bluff character, but on this occasion I found it both welcoming and comforting.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1987
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Very elegant and fragrant. As an apéritif with melon, basil and Parma ham.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 A pleasant dram, especially with a splash of water but lacks nerve and buoyancy.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1990 Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.80%
7 Starts slowly, and seems uncertain as to where it is going.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1990, Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.80%
7 A hidden complexity on the palate. A malt to give you a tender kick on “one of those days, you know…”

Gordon & MacPhail Balblair 1966
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 The nose is rich and harmonious. The palate not so lavish, somewhat dulled by wood dominating. It would have shown better at a higher strength.

Gordon & MacPhail 10 Years Old Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 59.90%
7 Fresh and vibrant. Attractive.

Gordon & MacPhail 18 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 The best Benromach I have tasted. I wonder what she should expect in a few years from the new stillhouse.

Gordon & MacPhail 1973
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 After a weekend walk in the country? Mid to late afternoon. Who needs tea? Just a slice of fruit pie and a generous dram of Benromach.

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach 1974
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 I have always found Benromach assertively flowery, herbal, almost cedary. Will this highly distinctive character prevail in the new, smaller, stills introduced since the change of ownership? Tastings...

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach 1980
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.60%
7 A wake up dram. Not a great deal of complexity but an enjoyable fruitiness to make you think of springtime.

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach 22 Years Old, Port Wood Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.00%
7 Should the pink tangerine blush of this whisky hint at Bacchus? He may have glanced at the cask, but I can't find him in the glass.

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach Peat Smoke
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
7 Once the middle fills out will be a lovely addition to the range.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach Sassicaia Wood Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.00%
8 A success.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach Traditional
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 This one really does have subtlety. A lovely, delicate aperitif.

Gordon & MacPhail Bladnoch 1991
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.80%
7 The nose is unusual, closer to a sour Chinese broth than a whisky! But the palate restores an expected floral Lowland freshness.

Gordon & MacPhail Bowmore 25 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
1 Old age has completely integrated peat and smoke. Oak overpowers the marine character. A splash of water does not help.

Gordon & MacPhail Bunnahabhain 1989
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 A breakfast whisky for the truly decadent.

Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 1969
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.00%
3 Surprisingly, the distillery character resists in this oldie. And peat “revisits” the aromatic palette. Integration again but no fusion.

Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 1981
Single Malt - Scotland - 62.70%
7 A beautifully balanced, rounded, example of this distinctive malt.

Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.20%
8 Very decent example of Caol Ila, nothing jars here.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 1991
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.40%
8 What you nose is what you get. A beautiful uncompromising version of Caol Ila. More enjoyable when neat.

Gordon & MacPhail Glenlivet 1973
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.90%
7 A dash of water is perfect. Skip the pudding and enjoy your dram with a shortbread.

Gordon & MacPhail Glenlivet 1973 Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.90%
8 Some of the older Smith's Glenlivets are too woody for me, but this one is a delight.

Gordon & MacPhail Rare Vintage Smith's, Glenlivet 1974
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Somewhat lifeless and one-dimensional. Not the best old Glenlivet I've tasted.

Gordon & MacPhail Glentauchers 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
6 Sherry influence calls the tune. Water calms the flavours down.

Gordon & MacPhail Glenugie 1968, 43 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00%
7 Oak is not as prevailing on the nose as on the palate. An exotic profile. Reminds me of Irish whiskey. Interesting richness. Avoid water.

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Calder
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
7 On the sweet side, although the finish brings out a more assertive note. A good winter warmer.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1948
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 1948? Amazing. Has retained a refined almost raffish air and though frail is not overwooded.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1968
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 A ghost-like dram almost too elusive to grasp.

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Mhor 1979
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 A hearty fellow, warming and expressive. A hip flask dram for a wet day.

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Scotia 1992 Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 62.10%
7 Far from the best Glen Scotia, but I have always entertained a sneaky respect for this distillery.

Gordon & MacPhail Inverleven 1985
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Not much complexity, but an unusually summery whisky.

Gordon & MacPhail Inverleven 1986
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
6 Light, straightforward. Delicacy without mannerism. Keep it for a romantic candlelit dinner.

Gordon & MacPhail Inverleven 1990, 40 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00%
7 The nose is appealing but the palate far tougher. Water eases the release of grassy notes. But the aromatic profile keeps shallow.

Gordon & MacPhail Pride of Islay 12 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 More Islay character on the nose than on the palate. A good appetite-teaser.

Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 15 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 That malt could easily be thrown in a calvados blind tasting, with aged oaky individuals.

Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 1969
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Linkwood is a lovely whisky, especially in its older incarnations.

Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 1972
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 A luxurious afterdinner malt.

Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 25 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 A dour character which lifts up on the nose but not on the palate.

Gordon & MacPhail Longmorn-Glenlivet 12 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 The most honeyed Longmorn I have tasted. A breakfast malt.

Gordon & MacPhail Pride of the Lowlands 12 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Disappointingly on the wood side. For those who like it oaky!

Gordon & MacPhail Miltonduff 1968
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Remarkably scenty. Very clean indeed. Delicate for my tastes but if you like an elegant malt.....

Gordon & MacPhail Miltonduff 1993
Single Malt - Scotland - 61.80%
7 Lusty, voluptuous. Finishes with a bang.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 1971
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00%
8 Magnificent in every way, especially the finish.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 1938, 60 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 A great age, but it has matured beautifully.

Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 1951
Single Malt - Scotland - 42.00%
6 After dinner. Or with a re-run of Inspector Morse.

Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 1980
Single Malt - Scotland - 63.80%
7 A lovely digestif whisky.

Gordon & MacPhail Old Pulteney 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 59.40%
7 The hug of sherry is soporific; the saltiness a stinging reviver. A morning run in Wick; a gale in John O'Groats.

Gordon & MacPhail Old Pulteney 1990 Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.80%
7 So sherry… Dark Oloroso wipes out all maltiness. Unbalanced but sherry fanatics will love it.

Gordon & MacPhail Old Pulteney 8 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Tastes like Manzanilla to me. I don't speak for anyone else.

Gordon & MacPhail Pride of Orkney 12 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Very fragrant on the nose but more restrained in the mouth. Needs time to perk up.

Gordon & MacPhail Port Ellen 1982
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 A restrained example of this fine malt, but the silent still is almost out of stock. There will be few further opportunities to buy.

Gordon & MacPhail Scapa 1987
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 A complex, delicate, well-balanced vintage.

Gordon & MacPhail Scapa 1988
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
6 I am not sure about that sulphur. Is it from the cask, or is it seaweedy? I usually like seaweed, but am not convinced by this bottling.

Gordon & MacPhail Strathisla 1960
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Strathisla has its own distinct, rather dry style-and this is a good example.

Gordon & MacPhail Pride of Strathspey 12 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Good introduction to Speyside's generosity. Especially if served with a crème brûlée.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail St Magdalene 1975
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
8 Typically lowland, with a nice progression of sensation: sweet, malty then zingy.

Gordon & MacPhail Tamdhu 1981 Reserve
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 No, I don't think I was being suggestible. An unusually complex Tamdhu.

Gordon & MacPhail Teaninich 1983
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
7 Well worth sampling, but don't expect anything fancy. This is a workaday malt.

Gordon & MacPhail The Glenrothes 1965
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
8 Classic Speyside. Confident. Aristocratic.

Gordon & MacPhail The Macallan 1993 Speymalt
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Another unusual Macallan. Well-balanced. No sherry overload. Second-or third-fill maybe. Or a Fino cask?

    Ardmore Distillery
  • Kennethmont. Huntly. Aberdeenshire. Scotland. AB54 4NH
  • Tel : +44 1464 831 213
    Tamdhu Distillery
  • Knockando. Aberlour. Moray. Scotland. AB38 7RP
  • Tel : 01340 870221

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